The perfect complement to your artisan cheese board, these delicious smoky flavoured rice balls aren’t shy on flavour and pack a moreish crunch.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 small leek, finely sliced
- 150g Arborio rice
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 cups hot vegetable or chicken stock
- 200g Mainland Smoked Cheddar, ½ grated and ½ chopped into 1cm cubes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp chopped chives
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1L vegetable or other cooking oil
- 100g dried panko crumbs
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and leek and sauté for 3 - 4 minutes or until translucent but not browned. Add the rice and stir well until slightly translucent around the edges.
- Stir in the lemon juice then add the hot stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and leave to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the liquid is absorbed.
- Stir through the grated cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool then add the chopped chives and egg.
- When the rice is completely cold, roll the mixture into balls the size of a golf ball. Press a cube of cheese into the centre of each round and shape the ball around it. Roll each ball in breadcrumbs and set aside.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan to 190°C (or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds. Deep fry the coated rice balls, in batches, until golden brown, about 3 - 5 minutes. Lift out using a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Serve hot on their own of with crispy chorizo, olives and cheese slices.